New Beginnings


The story begins back on March 17th in Buckeye, Arizona. My brother, his wife, the Hubs and I went for a few days to my brother’s “Baseball House” so the guys could go to the preseason baseball games and to golf. My sister-in-law said we had to go to sight-seeing at an adorable neighborhood in Buckeye called Verrado.  We discovered that there is a new 55+ neighborhood and spent 4 hours looking through the 12 models built by four different builders. Amazing!!! As we were ready to depart, we notice a big party happening in the Big Patio. Inquiring what was going on, we were invited to a Saint Paddy’s Day Happy Hour! We met the nicest group of people. I was at home…….

The next morning, and the next morning, I brought the Hubs to see the models. After returning to San Diego, we kept talking about the great house we saw. A week later, we were back in Buckeye buying a new home!!! We’ve never done anything so spontaneous in our lives. Heck, we’d lived in the same home for 37 years. That’s 37 years worth of packing, divesting ourselves of stuff, cleaning and repairing the house so we could sell. House sold in July. We’ve been staying in the Baseball House until we move into our newly built home on November 21! Hurray!!

The best things: single story, beautiful lot, and my own large 14 ft x 19 ft studio! I’ll be sure and share pics of the studio when it’s all set-up.

Q Have a great day and keep on crafting.

I Spy With My Big Eye

I Spy Little Man Quilt

I Spy Little Man Quilt

I Spy.......

I Spy…….

........a helicopter

……..a helicopter

Youngest grandchild, Little Man, needed an I Spy quilt. Last November, he tried to take his cousin’s I Spy quilt. During our visit, he kept asking me “to read” his quilt to him. Needless to say, he loves it!

This was my second quilt-as-you-go quilt and I’m in love with that technique.

QNow go have a wonderful crafty day!

Pop Goes The Weasel

spinning weasel

Walked into a local thrift store looking yesterday and saw this! Thinking to myself, “Is this an antique yarn winder?” I checked the item over. Looking at the constructing, including square nails, I knew it was old and had to have it! $30, I think it’s a bargain. I figured The Hubs could make new ends to the spokes.

square nails

Aren’t the square nails wonderful! Look at the aged top of this piece.

Curious about the item, I did an online search, and was so excited to finds pictures of this item. It turns out that this is a Spinning Weasel. Know the song, “Round and round the mulberry bush, the monkey chased the weasel. The monkey thought it all was a joke. Pop, goes the weasel!”(I know, I know, some people think it refers to cobblers tools.) See the top knob? That’s the weasel. I’m so excited! This was made in the 1800’s. In one picture, someone had engraved 1843 into the wood on the base.

According to Wiki:

Spinner’s weasel or clock reel is a mechanical yarn measuring device consisting of a spoked wheel with gears attached to a pointer on a marked face (which looks like a clock) and an internal mechanism which makes a “pop” sound after the desired length of yarn is measured (usually a skein). The pointer allows the spinner to see how close she/he is to reaching a skein. The weasel’s gear ratio is usually 40 to 1, and the circumference of the reel is usually two yards, thus producing an 80-yard skein when the weasel pops (after 40 revolutions).[1][2][3]

Some reels or skein winders are made without the gear mechanism. They perform the same function, but without the “clock” or pop to aid the spinner in keeping track of the length of thread or yarn produced. …[4][5]



See the yellow arrow, that piece that “clicks” against the gear inside is broken. I need to find out how long and what shape that needs to be so it can be repaired!

The way it works, is that when the yarn is spun onto the spool, the end is tied to one of the spoke ends. The spinner then revolves the spokes until the mechanism “pops”. How totally cool. I wish I could just touch the item and visualize it’s entire history.

QGo have a wonderful, happy, crafty day.

Going Down the Rabbit Hole


Help me! I’m going down the Rabbit Hole! I’ve been drafting a lot of patterns. Yes, I need a better storage solution. Since I’m not done with them, I’m leaving them out. What’s that you say? Is that a white board, well yes it is! However, I cannot access it for all of the patterns in the way. To the rescue, another great idea from Pinterest by Jenn at Endlessly Inspired, a fabric-covered magnet board. Great instructions at her site lead to this:

Magnetic board

Since this tiny little portion of my studio is done, wallpaper stripped and painted Glidden’s Cappuccino White, I mounted the new magnetic board! And the results:


Hurray! I got the oil drip pan at our local Auto Zone for $10, covered it with fabric from Joann Fabric using spray adhesive to adhere the fabric, and 16 lb Command removable strips to hang the board. Total project time was less that 1/2 hour. I did let the fabric and adhesive dry over night. I used the heavier strips since I not sure how heavy everything will be that I stick on.

I’m planning on adding magnets to the back of Ikea’s Bygel rail and attaching it to the bottom of this board. Trying to minimize the number of holes in the wall. Stay posted, I’ll show the results.

QNow go and have yourself a fun-filled, crafty day!

Perfect Ideas For the Studio

Storage_Pods_Pattern.html kubbis-rack-with-hooks-white__0313133_PE516359_S4

How adorable are these Storage Pods from Love From Beth on Craftsy. They are on my Studio Ideas board in Evernote which I shared yesterday.  I really like the Craftsman style look so this Kubbis hook from Ikea for ~$9 fits the bill for the Pod holder.

button ledge


The picture with the pick table was featuring DIY instructions for making the table. The picture ledge with buttons is what caught my eye (see the yellow arrow). I recognize that Ikea Mosslanda picture ledge for about $9. I’ve already been sorting my buttons by colors and storing in small Mason jars so this shelf is perfect. The small jam jars I’ve been collecting can be glued to the bottom of the shelf. norden-gateleg-table-white__0104381_PE251365_S4 (1)

This is the reason I don’t need the instructions for the DIY table. I am already the happy owner of this Ikea Norden Gateleg table which was purchased a few years ago. After seeing this table at Ikea I had to have it. You could not ask for a handier cutting table or craft table for a small area! The table has a total of six drawers, three on each side. When closed the table is 10 1/4 thick and 31 1/2″ wide. With one side open it is 35″, open both sides to a large 59 7/8 inches! The table sells for around $200 but it is worth every penny! One of the top drawers hold my cutting scissors and rotary cutters, easy access for when the cutting board is on the table. I’m thinking of having The Hubs put wheels on the bottom for even more maneuverability.

ruler hangerbygel-rail__35728_PE126619_S4

See the arrow in the picture above pointing to the rail? What a perfect solution for hanging all of my quilting rulers and quilting templates. Another good Ikea purchase for $3, the Bygel rail. No, I’m not getting a kickback from Ikea! I LOVE that store and The Hubs hates it! Go figure. Maybe it’s because I’m always finding great stuff there and over spending?
Tomorrow I have a DIY I’ve tried and totally LOVE! So, stay tuned.


Have a totally wonderful, crafty day!!! Q

New Studio Design With My New Best Friends


My studio is in dire need of a do-over. Although I absolutely LOVE the Waverly Violets wallpaper it’s been up for about 25 years. Daughter Darcey loves violet as much as I do and this paper was perfect for teenage Darcey. Time marches on. In order to plan the redesign, I’ve discovered that three, design “best friends” were extremely useful. Let me introduce you to three of my design best friends: 1. Pinterest, 2. Incomtech, and 3. Evernote and Evernote Chrome extension.

Don’t you just love Pinterest? The first step in my studio redesign was to chose the color palette. Love, Love, Love this color palette, and have chosen it for my redesigned studio. In case I haven’t mentioned it before, I don’t call my studio a sewing room because it’s not just sewing, it’s designing! My creative juices are allowed to flow in my studio. Curls calls us Renaissance Women because we do a little bit of everything. Anyway……

floorplan125Next step was to measure the size of the room and make a floor plan. Enter design best-friend Incomtech, hurray! This site allows a person to make their own customized, printable graph paper. I was able to translate my room size 11 feet by 13 feet into a customized graph paper. The paper is 11 squares by 13 squares, each square represents a foot. If I wanted to I could have made it 22 squares by 26 squares so I’d have half foot lines. Now the floor plan was ready for the items.

After the millionth broken needle when machine quilting the Eye Spy quilt, and complaining that I wish I had a new sewing machine, my sweet husband insisted that I buy a new one. Hello new Pfaff! It is so perfect! But…… it doesn’t really fit into my sewing table. The throat is so much deeper than my last machine that I’m sewing with my left leg pressed firmly against the table. Not comfortable. A new sewing table is in order. Yikes! After pricing new ones, around $2000 for what I wanted, it was time to head back to Pinterest for new ideas. Done! Last but not least, ………

Studio Ideas

I have been collecting studio ideas on Pinterest, but it’s time to choose what I want to have in my redesigned studio and what I need to buy tied into one place. Enter Evernote and the Evernote extension for Chrome. Serendipity! I received an email from Evernote describing their new browser extension which can capture entire webpages or just a screenshot. I signed up for a free Evernote account and started a new notebook called Studio Ideas. I did screenshots of all of the new ideas I want to incorporate into my studio. I captured the entire DIY instruction page for the new sewing machine table using the Ikea’s Linnmon Table top. The Hubs is going to need the instructions. See the left-hand column, it has all of the items I’m interested in. Look at all that wonderful info I captured about the Linnmon, perfect for scaling into the floorplan.  Another bonus is that I can access the Studio Ideas on my phone so I have the list of what I want at Ikea. Oh yea, there is a long list. This extension is so AWESOME that you really should try it! No, I’m not getting paid a penny from Evernote, I just LOVE this extension. I already do my rough draft drawing ideas for sewing projects on Penultimate, using my iPad. I have created a notebook for all the ideas in Evernote. The two programs are from the same company.

Now back to scrapping off wallpaper and painting, yuck!!! Why can’t I twitch my nose and have it done? Sigh…….

QGo have a wonderful crafty day!


I Spy with My Little Eye……

Luke and quilt2

I Spy with my little eye……  Hurray! I finally finished one of the four I spy quilts I’ve been working on. This one was finished just in time for Luke’s Christmas present. He’s in love with it. Don’t you just love the bright colors?

luke finds it.jpg

I had such fun playing I Spy with both Luke and Nathan, his 2 years old cousin, when we kept them over New Year’s. Luke finds the letters. I’m in the midst of quilting Nate’s now. He was not happy when Luke left our house with the quilt.

full size picThis was my very first Quilt-as-you-go quilt. Love, love, love that technique. So nice to just quilt a few squares at a time, then join. I didn’t use any particular pre-quilt template, just made it up as I went along.

The quilt was designed using my favorite quilting app, Quiltography. See more about my much loved app from this post. The first I Spy design had a double layer of fabric around the center square.

i spy1

I have to admit that I got tired of taking pictures of the plain fabrics which went around the center, I Spy squares so I started reusing the same ones. The final quilt did not use any repeating fabric. Except for the I Spy squares, I wanted to use up my stash for the other fabrics. Deciding that I had enough 5″ square fabrics already cut to use just a single layer around the center I Spy, I redesigned the quilt.

I spy2

I liked the crazy off-center look of the I Spy quilts in this model. Again, after doing 30 squares I got bored and just used the same ones over and over. I was looking for the “feel” of the quilt and achieved it.

design board

After the top was pieced and trimmed, the blocks were put on the design board and moved all around until I found the exact placement for each one. I love my design board. You can read more about it here.

To do the quilt-as-you-go, I sewed four blocks together and pressed. Using quilting spray glue, the four blocks were put onto the batting square cut just a tad larger than the 4-block square. The first half of the quilt was quilted using my Bernina and a walking foot. After the fourth needle broke, I’d had it! My birthday is less than a month from Christmas so my sweet husband, sick of hearing me scream at the machine, researched online and found a new machine for me. Here she is:


My new Pfaff! Mom bought my first Pfaff for me in the late 1970’s. It is still going strong. It sewed clothes for all four kids, grandkids, husband, me, quilts, etc. I decided I wanted something with more stitch options so I gave the Pfaff to my daughter and bought a Bernina Quilter’s machine. Never was as happy with it as I was with my beloved Pfaff. I feel as if I have my old friend back with such wonderful new features!!! LOVE this machine. What’s that I’m sewing you ask? I Spy #4!

Off topic, I just want to let all of my favorite bloggers know that I usually read blogs with my iPad. For some reason, the last 6 months or so, I can “Like” a post but it refuses to let me log on and leave comments. I really have wanted to comment how much I am enjoying my “visits” and your wonderful blogs.

Q Have a crafty, happy day!



N is for Narwhal

Nate with his book

Nate with his book

Love that precious smile. His mom had just told him that he was going to grandma and poppa’s to spend the night.

Open book

Open book

Playing with his book the way it’s supposed to be. Touching all of the textures and taking the animals out to play. This book is meant for serious playtime!

Nathan cover

Nathan CoverN is for Narwhal

narwhalA is for Alligator


T is for Tiger


H is for Hippo

hippoA is for Aardvark

aardvarkN is for Newt

newtNathan back cover with mini-book

nathan backFor all the mini-books I use the Alphabetimal letters. Alphabetimal didn’t have an aardvark, only an anteater. With some modifications, I turned the anteater into an aardvark. Why? You ask. I love the word aardvark! As funny sounding as the animal is to look at. The facts I write about each animal are fun, trivia type facts.

QHope you’re having a crafty weekend!

Q is for Quiet


Julia and quiet book

Oh dear, it’s been forever since I posted. I found knitting to be difficult after my concussion, so jumped back into sewing. Quiet Books are my newest passion. I’d been lusting after a Cricut Explore Air for a few months, and my wonderful husband told me I deserved one and to order it. Done!

After making three boy-themed, name-personalized, quiet books I HAD to make a girl’s book. Of course, girls need purses. I’ve raised the bar in the last few books I’ve made. Each page now has a soft animal which matches the letter of the page, and a small laminated book which gives fun facts about each of the animals used in the book. Julia book was made as a surprise for my daughter Emily to give to a child of one of the women in her mother’s group. As you can see, the girl was totally enthralled with the book. A special touch is that I used some of my alpaca wool on both sides of the alpaca.

Julia Cover:

Cover of Julia

J is for Jellyfish:

J is for Jellyfish

U is for Urchin:

U is for Urchin

L is for Leopard:

L is for Leopard

I is for Iguana:

I is for Iguana
A is for Alpaca:
A is for Alpaca

Gift Tag Page:

Gift Tag page

Julia back cover with mini-book:

Julia back cover

When doing research for alphabet animals to use in the mini-books, I found Alphabetimals and fell totally in love with them. So CLEVER!!! I use them to represent the animals in the mini-books.

QHope all of you have been having a wonderful crafty time!


Quiet Book For Boone

Boone is enthralled with his book

Boone is enthralled with his book

A special family friend just turned one. Of course, I had to make an extra wonderful book for him. I’ve been on a Quiet Book kick lately, as show by the mega pins I’ve done on Pinterest.  As a retired science/computer teacher I could not resist making this a rainbow-themed book using ROY G BIV colors: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, and Violet. I did throw in some white and black. I’ve purposely blocked out Boone’s face since this is on the Internet.

Front Cover

Front Cover

pocket page

Pocket page

b is for bear

B is for Bear

o is for octopus

O is for Octopus

o is for owl

O is for Owl

n is for newt

N is for Newt

e is for elephant

E is for Elephant

back cover

Rainbow back page

The book is 9 x 9 inches. Each individual page is backed with an interfacing. The individual pages were sandwiched together with a light cotton batting filling. Every item was sewn down, except the one I forgot. I used heavy duty grommets since I knew a one-year old would give this book plenty of loving. I wanted each page to either do something or have a texture, some pages have both.

Photo page – Boone’s picture was printed out at 4 x 6 inch size. I used a self-laminating pouch for it. A hole was punched into the pic and a heavy duty “springy cord with hooks” was used to attach it to the book. I included the rest of the laminating pouches so they could pick out other favorite pictures to include. The pocket pattern was free.

B is for Bear – I put stars on the shirt for texture.

O is for Octopus – Vinyl was sewn on the head and stuffed with puff balls and under the tentacles I used the grip fabric used on the bottom feet of kid’s pjs.

O is for Owl – The owl slides back and forth on the cord. A textured felt was used for the main part of the body.

N is for Newt – Fish were included to indicate that this was an animal that lives in and around water. If you lift up the left foot, you’ll find a fish under it. Bumpy green “thingies” were used for texture.

E is for Elephant – The ears are flappy and the trunk is fabric with elastic inside for baby to pull.

Rainbow back – ROY G BIV! The template for the rainbow came from Rainbow template

I found clipart and other animal examples from Google searches. I used Photoshop to design the layout; letter sizes, animal sizes, etc. The Felt Alphabet was free from Purl Soho. The idea for an alphabet, name book came from here, as did the Newt pattern.

This was a blast to make, as well as its frustrations. My first ever felt book so there was a big learning curve.

QHave a crafty, wonderful day!